The Tax Policy Colloquium is led by two experts in tax policy and veterans of the process of enacting tax legislation: Harry (“Hank”) Gutman, and Eric Solomon. Hank Gutman served with distinction as Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation from 1991-1993 and had previously served as the Treasury Department’s Tax Legislative Counsel. Eric Solomon served as Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy from 2006-2009. He previously served in the Treasury Department as Senior Advisor for Policy, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax Policy) and Deputy Assistant Secretary (Regulatory Affairs) and was the IRS’s Associate Chief Counsel (Corporate). Professors Gutman and Solomon, both of whom also have extensive teaching experience, have come to Temple’s Philadelphia Campus every Spring for the past three years to lead this intensive, day and a half immersive examination of tax policy and the tax legislative process.
The 2019 Colloquium examined the process of enacting tax law and evaluating the legislative outcome, using as an example the 2017 “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the “Act”). It began with an examination of the revenue structure of the federal government, including the sources of revenue and the distribution of the federal revenue burden by income class, which provided the context for the discussion that followed. Then, after an overview of the taxation of domestic and international business income, there was an explanation of the formal legislative process, with particular emphasis on the rules governing the consideration of legislation in the House and the Senate. After a discussion of the criteria by which tax legislation is evaluated, the group proceeded to an analysis of the 2017 tax legislation in detail. The Colloquium concluded with a discussion of the roads not taken, including various forms of consumption taxation and wealth taxation, as well as what the future might hold.
In addition to the students who registered for the Colloquium as a course and wrote analytical papers on the assigned reading both before and after the intensive Colloquium meeting, members of the bar and faculty at area law schools were invited to, and did, attend and participate in the discussion.
The 2020 Colloquium will take place on Friday and Saturday, March 20-21.